My bike is a white Nishiki Manitoba that I got last year as a graduation present. When I got my driver’s license, my family had two cars to be shared among four people, so I was really only allowed to drive myself to work. I decided to start making the eight mile, downhill commute from my house to the center of Corning multiple times each week in order to get my last taste my hometown before going to Rochester for my first year of college. My parents put a bike rack on the back of their car so that I could meet my mom after she finished work and hitch a ride home instead of struggling through eight miles of uphill riding. On the days that I could not be driven home, I usually ended up sleeping on one of my friends’ couches and exploring the city until I felt like going home. I was deemed the “free-spirited cyclist” by my best friend and I took pride in the funny looks I got from strangers in the Wegmans parking lot as I strapped a loaf of bread to the side of my backpack (mom usually asked me to pick up groceries). Commuting in Corning was my choice, and I did it because I thought it was fun.
My dream one day is to have a nice Subaru Forester with a dog in the backseat and a bike rack on the trunk. But let’s face it, cars are expensive and I am a college student. This is my first summer away from home and commuting via bike has turned into more of a necessity than a hobby. While I love my bike, I have has some frustrating moments this summer when it comes to my complete reliance on cycling in order to go to doctor’s appointments and meetings. The inspiration for this blog came when I was caught in a rainstorm for the second time this week. It was originally going to be titled “The Pros and Cons of Being a Bicycle Commuter in Rochester” and I let myself think of enough cons to write a short essay while the rain soaked through my jacket and backpack. However, due to my attempts to remain an optimist and my distaste for lists of complaints, I forced myself to do some editing on thought-up blog for the rest of my rainy ride home.
The Pros of Being a Bicycle Commuter in Rochester
Even though my full reliance on a bike this summer can have its downsides, I am so thankful for each benefit that comes along. There are obviously more pros to be added to this list, but those were the main five I thought of when I got drenched in the rain. Hey, I thought of another– free showers! Just kidding.
Written by Michaela Burrell, Class of 2020